|Photo credit: Amy Hess Photography
Okay, quit is a strong word. But “I resigned from my current position as an ambassador and transitioned into a different role” seemed like too long of a blog post title. So there’s that.
When I first saw the job posted in my neighborhood group, I hadn’t been looking for a job. Between childcare costs and Paislee strictly nursing and refusing to take a bottle, it just didn’t seem like it was in the cards. I knew I would return to work eventually but at that time, being a stay-at-home-mom seemed like the best option for us. But the job description seemed to be written specifically for me and I thought “eh what’s the harm in submitting my resume?”
So I did. I got a call later that afternoon, interviewed the following Monday, and was hired by the following Wednesday. I couldn’t believe it! It was a dream job for a military spouse; great pay, flexible hours, and umm, it was super fun. I loved it. I was flown to Chicago for training and even one of my best friends from New York was hired from her new post (we had no idea we had both applied and accepted… crazy huh?) It was great.
I had a babysitter for the kids during the day and then when I worked nights and weekends, Zach was able to watch them. I was able to do some stuff from home and for the most part, it was working out wonderfully.
And then Zach came home with orders. My first reaction? I had to quit. I would be moving back to Ohio because that’s what I did during his first deployment. But as I thought about it, I thought maybe it would be good to stay put and continue working. I would have something to keep me busy and make the days go faster. This deployment was also a lot different than the first one; I was pregnant and had been at a new post for only a month the first time he had orders. And the circumstances of his deployment were a lot scarier that time. I ended up going into pre-term labor and being put on bed rest so at the end of the day, it’s a blessing I went home.
But this time, I had two kids and a job. I had a house that had started to become a home and I needed to look out for their best interest. They needed structure, they needed their own space, and they needed routine. So I decided to keep my job and make it work. And for a few weeks, it was okay.
But then I started to get overwhelmed. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Dishes weren’t getting done, laundry was piling up, and dust bunnies were taking over every corner of every room. But the biggest noticeable difference was in my kids. I could tell they weren’t happy and that they craved my attention in unorthodox ways when I was home. I began by cutting back on hours and thought that would help. But it didn’t. And at the end of the day, I couldn’t justify being gone. From how they were acting to my paycheck after childcare costs, it just wasn’t justifiable.
So I switched roles in the program and I’m working a few hours here and there from home. Sure, the paycheck was nice and it felt good to be doing something for me and my career. And I know people work throughout deployments everyday and everything works out but for us, that just wasn’t the case.
To be honest, I felt and sometimes still feel like a failure. I feel like I couldn’t handle a part-time job, a house, two kids, a dog, and a blog. People keep full-time jobs all the time… why couldn’t I handle this?
But at the end of the day, I have to remember that everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. I tried and realized it wasn’t for me, and now I know that without regrets. I’ll never wonder “well maybe I could have done it” because I tried… and I couldn’t. And although I sometimes feel like a failure in that respect, I know that right now, my kids need me. This house needs me. I need less stress and this was the easiest way to cut it out.
Emotionally, this deployment has been a lot smoother than the last. But in terms of taking care of a two year old (almost three year old) and an infant (almost one year old) has turned it into a whole new ballgame. I guess at the end of the day, I’ll have my whole life to work. Spouses work during deployments everyday and as I’m starting to realize, it’s okay if I’m not “people”. I’m me. And for me, the best decision was to resign and take on something I could from home. And I am SO thankful to be working for a company who allows me to do that.
Do I plan on working from home my whole life? Absolutely not. I’m not naive and I know that I’ll eventually go back to work. And I want to! But for now, Zach and I decided that the most important job I can do with him gone is be here for the kids. As much as I can. So that’s what I plan to do.